The Excel to Google Earth (E2G) thematic mapping tool has been developed to map administrative region data stored in Excel spreadsheets without the need for a geographic information system (GIS).
The current, "public beta" version of the tool, which was created for use in the 15 PEPFAR focus countries and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will enable decision makers, program planners and analysts at all levels in those countries to display their Excel-based administrative region data on a thematic map. This can help overcome several of the barriers that have limited the use of mapping for decision support and M&E.
All that is required is an Excel spreadsheet that has administrative region data (e.g., percent OVC) and names for those administrative regions (provinces, districts, wards, etc.) included as part of the data. A wizard walks the user through a quick series of steps, which includes selecting the type and number of classes and choosing which colors to display on the map.
Once the user has defined the elements of the map, the wizard creates a KML file for display in Google Earth. When opened in Google Earth, the KML file can be printed out, saved as a JPEG file for inclusion in reports or publications, or stored in a Web-accessible space.
Easy Data Schema Strengthening
The mapping tool requires the Excel spreadsheet containing the data to conform to data schema best practices. This means that each record corresponds to a unique geographic unit. Structuring the data in such a standardized way makes them easier to maintain, analyze and update. This leads to more reliable data sets and a stronger data infrastructure. [...]